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Weston Mercury: Extra £10m for North Somerset’s healthcare

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A North Somerset MP says the district will no longer be looked at as the ‘poor relation’ to Bristol after the Government awarded the area more healthcare funding.

John Penrose, who is MP for Weston and villages including Congresbury, has fought with the Government to get North Somerset more funding and the persistent MP has now secured more than £350million a year from the Department of Health (DoH).

In recent years North Somerset has only received £340million – a 4.1 per cent gap of £10million.

Mr Penrose said it had been a long battle to secure North Somerset appropriate financial support as it was ‘overshadowed’ by Bristol on a regular basis.

He added: “I started demanding answers from Tony Blair when he was still Prime Minister, so it is a sweet moment now we have finally got it done.”

The DoH divides its annual budget – estimated at about £110billion – across the NHS, local authorities and area teams based on population, to be distributed to CCGs and other clinical groups.

The CCG’s chief clinical officer, Dr Mary Backhouse welcomed the Government’s announcement.

She said: “Although we are working to manage a very challenging financial situation and a growing demand, it is good news for North Somerset that it has had additional resources and it has invested these in NHS services.”

The Times’ fairer funding campaign, which highlighted the inequality in resources that North Somerset suffered in areas such as healthcare, was backed by Mr Penrose back in 2014.

He said he is delighted with the result of endless campaigning but warned people there is still tough times ahead.

He said: “Like the rest of the NHS, Weston’s health professionals are facing rising demands from all of us, so budgets are stretched.”


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